Warren, Markey and Keating Unable to Secure Cape Bridge Money
With estimates on how much it would cost to replace the aging Bourne and Sagamore Bridges connecting Cape Cod to the mainland rising almost daily, the Massachusetts congressional delegation has struck out in securing funding for the project.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts announced an agreement in 2020 to replace the bridges, now approaching 100 years old, but securing federal funding for new bridges has been elusive.
The cost to replace the bridges was estimated at just north of $1 billion, but that was two years ago. Rabid inflation and construction delays have pushed those estimates to somewhere near $4 billion.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is responsible for the approaches on both sides of both bridges and is said to be prepared to begin. The replacement of the bridges is the responsibility of the federal government, which has yet to commit a nickel to the project.
State House News Service reported that "The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' application for Biden Administration Infrastructure for Rebuilding America, or INFRA, grant money failed when the U.S. Department of Transportation last week declined to include the bridge replacements on a list of 26 projects set to split funding."
"Another grant application filed at the same time as the unsuccessful bid remains pending, so the failure does not close the door entirely," the SHNS wrote.
In a joint statement, U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey and Congressman William Keating said they were "disappointed" by the rejection of the application. The delegation refers to the bridges as "critical lifelines to the Cape and Islands."
One might have thought the all-Democrat delegation would have an easier time convincing the Biden Administration to include the project for funding.
The delay comes as concern mounts that the bridges may need to undergo much-needed repairs to keep them operational while the debate continues over funding for replacements.